"Amid the confusing cries, 'Lo, here
is Christ! Lo there is Christ!' will be borne a special
a special message of truth appropriate for this
(Ellen G. White Comments, Vol. 7, p.
Heart of the 1888 Message
Ten Unique, Essential
1. Christ’s sacrifice is not merely provisional
but it is effective for the whole world.
He finished the work the Father gave Him to do. His
mission was successful. The only reason anyone can be lost at
last is that he has chosen to resist the saving grace of God.
Salvation is by faith; condemnation is only by personal
unbelief (or anti-faith).
Christ’s sacrifice has literally saved the world from
premature destruction and has legally justified the entire
When the sinner hears and believes
this pure gospel, he experiences justification by
. By their
unbelief, the lost deliberately negate the justification
Christ has already effected for them and has given
3. Thus, true justification by
faith is always a change of heart.
It is, therefore, much
more than a legal declaration of acquittal; it makes the
believer to become obedient to all the commandments of
4. This marvelous work is
accomplished through the ministry of the new covenant.
The Lord actually writes His law
in the heart of the believer. Under the new covenant,
the Ten Commandments become ten promises of complete victory
over sin. This new motivation transcends the egocentric one of
fear of being lost or of hope of reward in being saved.
Abraham’s faith enabled him to live under the new covenant,
while multitudes today live under the old covenant because
self-centered concern is their motivation. The old covenant
was the promise of the people to be faithful; under the new
covenant salvation comes by believing God’s promise to enable
us to obey, not by our making
promisesto Him which by their very nature are
5. God’s love is
active, not passive.
As Good Shepherd, Christ continually seeks His
lost sheep. Salvation does not depend on the lost sheep
seeking the Shepherd, or the lost coin its owner, but on our
believing that He is seeking us. Such faith motivates us to
yield our all to Him.
6. It is
difficult to be lost and it is easy to be saved if one
understands and believes how good the gospel Good News
A constant resisting of His grace is laborious sin.
Since Christ has already paid the penalty for every one’s sin,
the only reason anyone can be condemned at last is continued,
persistent unbelief, which is a refusal to appreciate the
redemption accomplished by Christ on His cross. The true
gospel unveils this unbelief and leads to an effective
repentance that prepares the believer for the close of
7. In seeking lost mankind,
Christ came all the way to where we are, taking upon Himself
and assuming the fallen, sinful nature of man after the
This He did that He might save the human race. He
must be tempted in all points like as we are yet demonstrate
perfect righteousness “in the likeness of [our] sinful flesh.”
“The message of Christ’s righteousness” is rooted in this
unique view of the nearness of Christ. The contrary teaching
that Christ took the sinless nature of Adam before the Fall is
a legacy of Roman Catholicism, the insignia of the doctrine
which keeps Him “afar off” and “not nigh at
8. Our Savior “condemned sin
in the flesh” of fallen mankind.
This means that He has
outlawed sin, conquered it forever. In the light of the cross,
the devil cannot force anyone to sin. To be truly “human” is
to be Christ-like in character, for He was and is truly human
as well as truly divine.
9. The only element
God’s people need in order to prepare for Christ’s return is
genuine faith which works by love.
Righteousness is by faith; it is
impossible to have faith and not demonstrate righteousness in
the life, because true faith works
by love. Moral and spiritual failures are the fruit of
perpetuating Israel’s ancient sin of unbelief today through
the confusion of a false righteousness by
10. Righteousness by faith since 1844 has
become “the third angel’s message in verity.”
Thus it is greater light than what the Reformers
could see and what the popular churches can understand today.
It is a message of much more abounding grace consistent with
the unique understanding of the cleansing of the heavenly
sanctuary. It is a work contingent on the full cleansing of
the hearts of God’s people on earth, which the High Priest is
accomplishing for all who let Him do so.